KARACHI, (SANA): The Sindh government has presented its budget in the provincial assembly for the fiscalyear 2013-14 having a total outlay of Rs 617 billion here on Monday. Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah presented the budget in the Sindh Assembly. He has announced 15% increase in pay of government employees from grade one to 15 and 10% increase in salary of grade 16 and above. He said 15,00,00 people would be given jobs during the next five years. He said 20,000 police personnel would be recruited.
Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani was presiding over the budget session. In his opening remarks, the chief minister said that people of the province preferred policies of the Pakistan People’s Party led government in Sindh.
“We have emphasized more on utilization of resources, Pakistan will progress if Sindh will prosper,” he said.
He announced 10 to 15 percent increase in the salaries of provincial government employees.
“Keeping in view the hardships faced by the lower grade employees, I announce a raise of 15 percent in salaries of grade 1 to 15 employees.”
“The salaries of employees in BPS 16 and above are being enhanced by 10 percent,” he added. As regards pension of the retired government employees, he announced 10 percent increase. The minimum pension however has been increased from Rs.3000/- to Rs.5000/- per month.
Rs 89 million have been earmarked to improve the performance of the police and Rs 48 billion for improving law and order situation. The chief minister announced 20,000 recruitment in Sindh police. He also vowed to create 150,000 jobs in the province. 300,000 youth will get vocational training with the help of World Bank, he added.
He said that the government has allocated Rs 2 billion for Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) 32 billion for development projects and 11 billion for power distribution companies. Out of total outlay of Rs 617 billion, the government earmarked Rs110 bn for education.
PPI adds: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, who also holds the portfolio of provincial finance minister, announced fiscal measures for the year 2013-14 that includes tax reforms,removal of tax anomalies and inequities, reviewing tax exemptions and taxing certain new services.
In his budget speech at Sindh assembly this evening, Qaim Ali Shah said, ”Tax base of Sindh sales tax is insufficient and limited to a few service items, and at the existing tax base, it is not possible to achieve the desirable tax-to-GDP ratio in this sector.
With a view to supplement the national efforts for achieving the NFC-desired Tax to GDP ratio of 15 percent by terminal year 2014-15 and also for equitably taxing the service sectors in Sindh economy, the provincial tax administrations need to be reformed and the tax base needs to be appropriately expanded.” “With great pleasure I announce that Sindh will not increase the existing standard rate of 16 percent.
That will not only contain inflation but shall also not burden the consumers with extra tax or increase prices. Although, our net receipts will decrease because of the inputs taxed by federation at 17 percent, this loss of revenue shall be sustained in order to provide relief to the ordinary consumers of Sindh sales taxable services,” Chief Minister said.
Qaim Ali Shah said that services of advertising agents, security agencies, commodity brokers, marriage halls and lawns, event management and public bonded warehouses are proposed to be levied.
“The services of security agencies will be taxed at 10 percent instead of standard rate of 16 percent. Small marriage halls and lawns located on plots of 800 sq. yards or less shall remain exempted.” He said some of the services provided under contracts or agreements are proposed to be specified as being liable to sales tax with a view to removing doubts, disputes and confusion about their tax status in view of the fact that tax is already levied on the services of contractual execution of work.
These services are specified in the amending provisions of the Bill in relation to the Second Schedule to the Sindh Sales Tax on Services Act 2011.
Chief Minister said exemption on internet and broadband services are proposed to be withdrawn. However internet service of up to s.1500/- per month shall remain exempted for the benefit of students and households.
He further stated that certain new services like beauty parlors exceeding annual turnover of up to Rs.3.6 million) and race clubs are proposed to be brought in the tax net. The beautician services will be taxed at reduced rate of 10 percent.
The bed tax of 7.5 percent is proposed to be withdrawn and hotels will continue to pay only the Sindh Sales Tax on their services, he announced.
Chief Minister announced that the offer of Sindh Chapter of Contractors’ Association of Pakistan to pay Sindh Sales Tax at a reduced rate of 4 percent without any input tax adjustment is proposed to be accepted.
He said on the pattern of the exemption from tax on the bank’s services of utility bills collection, the similar services by NADRA Technology Limited are also proposed to be exempted.
Qaim Ali Shah announced that Special Development and Maintenance Infrastructure Cess is being levied for the purpose of meeting the costs of wear and tear on the infrastructure due to heavy traffic of the goods entering the province by air or sea and for providing security.
It is proposed to enhance the rate of Cess from 0.80%-0.85% to .90%-0.95% on various slabs of the imports.
Sindh Chief Minister announced further that it has been proposed to increase property tax from 20 percent to 25 percent on annual rental value of buildings and lands and increase in license of Trade and Import of Potable Liquor and Retail of Liquor License from Rs.600, 000/- to Rs.800, 000/- and from Rs.350, 000/- to Rs.500, 000/- respectively.
He said that the government has allocated Rs 2 billion for Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) 32 billion for development projects and 11 billion for power distribution companies.